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Economy likely to grow at 6 pc or slightly more: FM

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Tuesday said the economy was likely to grow at six percent or slightly more in the current fiscal year.

"This year, by all estimates, the growth rate will be six percent or slightly above. This is not a satisfactory level of growth," he said.

He attributed the low increase in growth to slowdown in advanced economies.

Chidambaram and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad were in Jaipur to address the media.

The finance minister also spoke at length on the steps the government has taken for the economy. He said the investment in public sector enterprises (PSUs) has been significantly hiked with the government investing around Rs.1.15 lakh crore in PSUs during 2012-13.

He said the government has also taken various steps to improve exports, and coal and gas production and has been able to add 20,622 MW of additional power capacity during 2012-13.

While answering a question on the rupee, the finance minister said RBI's measures announced recently are aimed at curbing excessive speculation and volatility in the forex market.

"One should not read it as a prelude to policy rate changes," he said, adding that the rupee price would be market determined.

Chidambaram also told the news conference that all LPG consumers will start to get subsidy in bank accounts through direct bank transfers by the end of the year.

He said every citizen would have to contribute in stopping the increase in gold prices. "I cannot stop any one from buying gold, I can only appeal to buy less gold. Only this can stop increase in gold prices," he said.

Chidambaram said a large chunk of population in the country is still suffering from malnutrition and starvation. "To tackle the problem and save these people, we have to enact the Food Security Bill, so nobody sleeps hungry," he said.

Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad said the UPA government has launched several welfare schemes in various sectors including health, education and road construction.

"Most of these projects should have been launched by the respective state governments, but the union government is carrying them out," said Azad.